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Mieko Tarrius:
My inspiration

A red-bricked wall with a rectangular cut out at the center with grey bricks. The following words are painted in black capital letters “THE CITY BELONGS TO THOSE WHO LIVE IN IT!”. Below these words on the red brick, the following messages are painted in white letters: “Gentrification does not produce community!” and “Tierra Y Libertad”. A series of handmade posters line the ground in front of the mural, while a vertical painting depicting what appears to be Pinocchio is propped against the wall to the right. Mural on bricked-up window in New York City. Photo credit: Amy Starecheski.

To what extent does tech-led gentrification intertwine with race and white privilege?

Born and raised in Belleville in the 1990s (pre-gentrification), a popular ethnically diverse Parisian neighborhood, I was faced early on with the impact of class, race and gender on human geography. More recently, my personal experience residing in gentrifying Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York, has also greatly influenced my research as it prompted me to question my positionality — as a white French woman — and my role in the area’s tragic socio-economic restructuration. Facing our cities’ mutations and their harmful repercussions on social cohesion and communities’ wellbeing, I hope my research will help individuals, leaders, and associations better understand how the gentrifying process reproduces racial oppression.

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